Closing Market Report

Star-Bulletin news services

Tuesday, August 3, 1999

Dow gains 31

Associated Press

NEW YORK - A volatile session on Wall Street ended with mixed results for stocks today as a forecast of continued economic growth kept investors on edge about interest rates.

The Dow Jones industrial average was up 31.35 at 10,677.31 after shifting between positive and negative territory for much of the day. Broader stock indicators were lower. The Nasdaq composite index suffered another steep loss - down 35.64, or 1.36 precent, to end at 2,588.00 - as technology stocks faltered. The Standard & Poor's 500 fell 5.87 to 1,322.18.

Decliners beat advancers by a 5-to-3 margin on the New York Stock Exchange, with 1,880 down, 1,093 up and 543 unchanged. NYSE volume totaled 735 million shares vs. 629.25 million yesterday.

The NYSE composite index fell 2.94 to 622.40; the American Stock Exchange composite index fell 3.17 to 780.47; and the Russell 2000 dropped 6.35 to 436.28.

"The general tenor is one of malaise," said Scott Bleier, chief investment strategist at Prime Charter Ltd. While volume outpaced the sluggish trading of recent sessions, stocks pitched up and down in a fairly narrow range as buyers found little reason to return to the market.

The threat of higher rates has rattled stocks and bonds in the past week, dragging stock indexes well below the record highs of mid-July. Today, bond prices slipped once more, sending the yield on the 30-year Treasury bond rising to 6.15 percent, up from 6.12 percent late yesterday.

Gains by Johnson & Johnson helped the Dow today. Its shares rose after J.P. Morgan increased its growth forecast for J&J, and reated the company a "buy."

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